IATSE, studios agree on pact

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The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers has agreed to its sixth deal with a major union this year, completing contract talks with IATSE for a basic agreement covering 35,000 below-the-line workers.

The tentative three-year deal — inked 10 months before its expiration — covers members of West Coast studio locals and New York-based locals 52 and 61.

"This was a tough negotiation during tough economic times, but both sides worked hard and negotiated reasonably to come to this agreement," IATSE international president Matthew Loeb said. "This new agreement both protects members and allows new media to evolve."

The terms of the new contract are in line with deals the AMPTP made this year with the WGA, DGA and on two AFTRA contracts, with modifications for the needs of IATSE members. IATSE's negotiating committee has recommended ratification by its members.

"Taken together, these six new labor agreements will keep our industry at work, allow producers to experiment with new media and give everyone in our industry a stake in the success of new and emerging markets," the AMPTP said.

The new contract leaves SAG as the only major union holding out on a new deal. Both sides have been locked in a stalemate since July 1 and are scheduled to sit down today for a meeting with a federal mediator.

The tenor of today's SAG-AMPTP meeting could be strained. While the major were sealing their deal with IATSE Wednesday, the WGA initiated arbitration proceedings against the AMPTP, claiming nonpayment of new-media residuals under the contract the two sides signed earlier this year. SAG negotiators have identified new-media compensation as a sticking point in their talks. (partialdiff)
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